Firstly, let’s remember that we all have a belly. Look around – they come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us women might wish for a different one and sometimes we really wish we didn’t have one that others can see! Here’s how to lose a belly – instantly!
It doesn’t involve spending hours pounding the treadmill at the gym, exhausting yourself at a spinning class, jogging every morning or doing a hundred sit ups a day. Although these are all good for you, they take time and perhaps you need a quicker result.
You also don’t need to be dieting like crazy, avoiding all your favourite foods, restricting your calories and feeling miserable!
No, the quickest and most effective way to make your tummy flatter is with shapewear!
I Need My Belly to Disappear!
You’re probably reading this because you’re under some sort of time pressure to look and feel good for an event. Perhaps you’re wondering what to wear and how to make your belly appear slimmer.
Cast your mind back to the last time you were getting ready for a party or wedding and you felt self-conscious about your tummy. To your eyes, it was sticking out in that dress, making your silhouette less-than-slim and was easily visible to others. Even though others probably didn’t notice your belly, or judge you for it, all you remember is the feelings involved. Feeling self-conscious, feeling like your body had visible flaws, worried how you would look next to thinner friends, reluctant to be in any photographs taken on the day. Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?
Maybe those feelings even caused you to change your outfit. You might have picked something safe that would cover you up rather than the gorgeous outfit you would really like to have put on.
Other tricks you might have tried include covering up with a jacket, or wearing a bright scarf or pretty jewellery to distract from your tummy area?
Maybe you wished that you could make your belly flatter for that occasion? Feeling so self-conscious could even have reduced your enjoyment of the day.
How we look (or think we look) is very closely tied to the way we feel about ourselves. Believing that you look fantastic will indeed make you feel fantastic. It’s like the feeling you get when you get a new hairdo and receive lots of lovely compliments, or the wonderful surprise of seeing how you look when someone else professionally applies your make-up. You feel beautiful.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could feel like that when you were going to an event? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to look forward to social occasions rather than worry about them and try to hide in baggy or over-sized outfits?
Shapewear can give you that feeling. We’re going to look at the types of shapewear that can help transform your outfit, smoothing your belly to look your slimmest and most youthful best.
But first, I want to remind you that there are many good reasons for your belly. You shouldn’t hate any part of your body. We are all beautiful in our own ways. This is a reminder to love your belly, even if you prefer not to show it in certain clothes. You’ve probably earned it!
5 Reasons for My Belly!
All pregnancies have some level of weight gain. Even women who are naturally very slim will gain some weight when they are pregnant.
Sometimes there is an above-average weight gain due to the large range of food and drinks easily available to us now. It’s very tempting and easy to ‘eat for two’ (I think I ate for four!).
While baby-building, our hips, thighs and buttocks get wider to help carry our increased weight and to get your body ready for giving birth. Your breasts will get bigger and your abdomen will stretch as your baby grows. Stretch marks can appear due to the speed of some of these changes to the body. Just remember, it was all worth it!
Ah the even-more-difficult bit! Some of the weight gained in pregnancy might be hard to shift. When you’re exhausted from looking after a baby (and maybe older children) and your hormones are going crazy, it’s not the easiest time to start exercising and eating healthily. For most mums, they come last on the list. Their ‘me time’ dwindles away to virtually nothing.
The majority of women keep some of the weight despite dieting and exercise after pregnancy. This weight gain increases with each pregnancy. Most women will be left with a looser tummy than before due to both muscles and skin stretching – also known as a ‘mummy tummy’!
Ah yet another difficult bit! From your mid-to-late forties onwards you’ll go through the perimenopause and menopause. There are enormous changes happening to your body at this time.
During the menopause your levels of oestrogen drop and this causes your body fat stores to move from the hips to the tummy! Aaarrggghhh! Even traditionally pear-shaped women (heavier bottom half with a slimmer top half) may become more apple-shaped (carrying weight around the middle or heavier top half and skinny legs).
To add to all of this, your metabolism will slow down too, making it easier to gain weight. The metabolism changes are due to the changes in hormone levels, so traditional dieting and exercise will have very little impact here. This is why losing weight using these methods gets harder and harder as we age.
The other factor in our belly growth is our modern lifestyles. Typically, people have a much busier lifestyle nowadays. It may seem like you’re always rushing – to drop the kids somewhere, to get yourself to work, to get to the supermarket after work, to rush home to cook and clean for your family. There’s really not enough time to get everything done the way you would ideally want to.
With so much going on, it’s easy to use fast food and ready meals, which make it very easy to gain weight indeed. It’s hard to juggle work and family and anything else. Many of us have little time to cook nutritious meals and have very little spare time to spend at the gym.
As much as 10 to 15% of weight issues are directly related to medications. The things you keep in your bathroom cabinet could be contributing to your belly.
Some medications can increase your appetite, meaning you’ll eat more than ever before! Other medications can slow down your metabolism, making it hard to burn calories. Medications can also cause you to retain water and this leads to bloating.
Here are the common medications associated with weight gain. Are you taking any of these?
Anti-Depressants (eg, citalopram, fluoxetine, mirtazapine, paroxetine, sertraline, fluvoxamine). Depression in itself can affect your appetite and your motivation to exercise, etc. These increase the ‘feel good’ chemicals in your brain but can affect appetite and how fat is stored or lost. Even when appetite doesn’t increase, some patients using these drugs long-term will gain as much as 24 pounds a year.
Mood Stabilizers (eg, lithium, quetiapine, risperidone, clozapine)
These powerful drugs help treat things like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. They will cause a permanently increased appetite. Again, long-term use will increase the weight gain.
Diabetes Medication (eg, insulin, repaglinide, glimepiride, glipizide_
These will control blood sugar levels and lots of people gain weight when they start using them.
Steroid medication (eg, prednisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone)
We use steroids to reduce inflammatory pain. Long-term use will increase your appetite and your body will retain more fat, especially around the belly.
Migraine and Anti-Seizure Medications (eg, valproic acid, amitriptyline, nortriptyline)
These very powerful medicines can increase your appetite and reduce your metabolism, causing your body to store fluids.
Heart Medication (betablockers including acebutolol, metoprolol, propranolol, atenolol)
This medication works by slowing your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure, causing less stress on the heart. Betablockers will make you feel tired and affect your ability to exercise, leading to weight gain.
Allergy Medication (eg, antihistamines like cetirizine, fexodenadine, loratidine)
These work by blocking the production of histamine – a chemical in your body that causes the symptoms of allergy. Anti-histamines are known to cause weight gain.
Remember that the effects aren’t universal – one drug might be terrible for one person but work brilliantly for another, one person might gain weight on one drug while someone else taking the same drug may lose weight! Don’t decide to suddenly stop taking a medication – please discuss any concerns with your doctor instead.
Early signs of hypothyroidism include weight gain, fatigue, depression, constipation, dry skin, memory problems and many other things. The onset is usually over a number of years. If in doubt, ask your doctor to test your thyroid function.
So, What’s the Answer?
Okay, so we’ve had a look at the most common reasons for having a tummy. Some causes are easier to deal with than others. You can’t stop taking life-saving medication just because it’s made you put on a bit of weight. You can’t stop being pregnant or stop going through the menopause…………………
If only there was a quick fix……..well there is!
Shapewear can give you the tummy you want. It can ‘nip and tuck’ you to enhance all the parts you love about your body, and play down those parts that you are less than in love with!
Lose a Belly with the Best Types of Shapewear for Tummy Control:
These will definitely help you lose a belly fast!
Control briefs – these are only a little bigger than your normal underpants. It’s a good idea to get ones with a higher waist so that there is no ‘bulge overhang’. Briefs are ideal if your tummy is your only area of concern.
Have a look at the gorgeous range at Spanx. They’re seamless to ensure no visible panty line! As with all Spanx products, you can search for products depending on the level of support you want.
Level 1 is Smooth (or ‘a gentle hug’)
Level 2 is Shape (or ‘a firm hug’)
Level 3 is Sculpt (‘total transformation’)
Remember to be realistic when choosing the level of support. If you want to wear control panties to work each day you probably won’t want Level 3 as it may be too restrictive.
A body shaper or body suit comes in a large range of styles. They can cover you from the waist to the knees, or from the shoulders to the knees. You can choose to have the lower half as a slip style (for wearing with a dress or skirt) or as cycling shorts style (for under trousers or shorts). You stomach will be flatter, the fat will be re-distributed by the shapewear – like when you push down on your own stomach with your hands!
Often these body shapers don’t include the bust area, meaning you can wear the bra of your choice to suit your neckline and boobs(eg a push-up bra for your V-neckline dress!).
The body shaper slims and tightens your body from the chest downwards. It gives a smooth silhouette and evens out any bumps. You clothes will fit better and they’ll skim easily over any previously lumpy bits!
A high-waisted thigh shaper – these are shorts or skirts which may start above the knee or mid-thigh and have a high-waist band. A terrific choice if your top half is slim and you are only looking for tummy flattening and thigh slimming support. This would suit traditional ‘pear’ shape bodies.
Corset waist shapers – these are perfect if you don’t have lower belly fat but your abdomen sticks out more than you’d like. The corset or waist shaper will pull you in to enhance your waist and flatten your stomach. A good choice for ‘apple’ shapes as it will give you a defined waist.
NB: these are different from the latex waist cinchers that some celebrities wear for workouts. There is no evidence to prove waist-training has a measurable effect on reducing waistlines.
Control Slips – these can be strapless or worn with straps. These cover the bust, abdomen, buttocks and thighs. In my opinion, they are the best shapewear for wearing under a dress. You’ll feel supported and slimline. Your belly will be so much flatter and your body will appear more toned all over.
- Choose the style of shapewear you are likely to wear most often
- Choose the colours that won’t show under light or white clothes (white can show so nude or beige colours may be best)
- Avoid buying cheaper shapewear – you’ll only be disappointed. The material will roll and pill (leading to bobbling and holes). When high-waisted shapewear rolls down, it’ll give you a ‘muffin top’ or belly overhang – the very thing you’re trying to avoid!
I hope this has helped you to learn about using shapewear as a way to lose a belly. Have you already tried this and do you have a favourite style of shapewear? Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.
Founder of Plus Size Shapewear